•Hamza Anwar, son of Asad, finished 5th overall while McRae Kimathi, Phineas Kimathi's son came 8th at this past weekend's ARC Equator Rally
•They are the latest among young rally drivers who want to emulate the exploits of their legendary dads and uncles who excelled in the sport
•Both hoping for a great performance at the WRC Safari Rally in June 24-27
Asad Anwar and Phineas Kimathi were drivers of national repute some years back. Their exuberant driving style and extraordinary commitment behind the wheel earned them a legion of loyal fans, not to mention their rally-sport prowess.
As such, there was a sense of palpable anticipation when their sons took to the demanding ARC Equator Rally route course in Naivasha. Hamza Anwar, son of Asad, finished 5th overall while McRae Kimathi, Phineas Kimathi's son came 8th.
The youngsters displayed awesome cockpit potential with a solid drive from the back of the field to credible finishes. Kimathi and Hamza now lead the KNRC Division 1 and 2 Championships after Equator Rally.
Hamza and McRae are the latest in a long tradition in local motorsports where second-generation drivers pick up the mantle from their rally driver parents and legends.
A myriad of early rally legends have subsequently seen their sons — or in some cases, other family members — show promise where they once conquered.
The list of second generation drivers is endless when you come to think of the likes of Vic Preston Senior and Junior, Frank Tundo and his son Carl, John Rose and son Lee Rose, Dalgit Chager and his son Baldev.
Asad Anwar and his elder brother Azar Anwar were drivers of national repute. Asad was revered for his antics on twisty sections and indeed a master of special stages.
Azar, on the other hand, is a three-time Kenya champion and an outright Safari Rally winner in 2006 with George Mwangi.
In 2006, Asad racked up his maiden victory at the KCB Mavuno Loans Rally in Nanyuki, toppling his elder brother Azar from the top of the KNRC table, which he had virtually made his own since the start of the season.
Phineas, current CEO of WRC Safari Rally Kenya, gave Hyundai Motors of South Korea their first world recognition — the Safari Rally Formula 2 title in 1999.
In father's wheel tracks
When Hamza Anwar (son of Asad) took to the start ramp on Equator, little did he know he would be creating history. Not only did the 22-year-old coast-based rookie become the youngest finisher on Equator, he also became one of the many sons of a former driver to compete in the African Rally Championship.
Hamza is excited by how he has fared by following in his father’s and uncle's wheel tracks.
In 2018, Hamza chalked up the highest points tally on the 2WD Non Turbo Class of the KCB Kenya National Autocross Championship series but lost the title to Safina Khan as he hadn't met the 75percent threshold of participation.
Asked about his Equator success, Hamza explained: "We expected to be amongst the top 10 if we kept to our strategy — which we did — although it was extremely challenging for my first marathon kind of event in Kenya and driving a 4WD on Safari routes."
With Equator event being a dry run for Safari and indeed, a navigators' rally, Hamza is singing praises of his navigator Riyaz Ismail.
"My navigator was well experienced and did a good job all round. He was spot on and called the correct notes. We were seeded 4th last on road, which was a little disturbing but nevertheless we worked our way up to 4th on Day 1 before losing time to the much more experienced international drivers. Our plan was never to attack but get to the end clean. We lost some time on Day 2 losing fourth place. But that's rallying," he explains.
Hamza is hoping to debut at the WRC Safari in his bid to keep the racing fire burning in their family. "It was great to explore WRC Safari Rally routes. Hopefully, it will be great to rub shoulders with the crème de la crème of world motorsport."
McRae Kimathi posted his best possible time to finish eighth in the Equator Rally. Kimathi, navigated by Shameer Ole Yusuf, was excited to finish ahead of three- time Safari Rally champion Baldev Chager.
"WRC Safari Rally Championship organizers did a wonderful event. I would also like to thank the government for allowing ARC Equator Rally to go on. This is a happy moment for me since Baldev is right behind me," said Kimathi.
The young upcoming driver in the Kenya National Rally Championship, finished 22nd during the 2019 Safari Rally candidate event and fifth on KCB Meru Rally.
MORE ABOUT HAMZA ANWAR:
Date Of Birth: 27/09/98
Team: Hamza Anwar
Motorsport Year Commenced Racing: 2017
First Car: Toyota Sprinter
Autocross Car: Evo buggy
Role Models: Asad Anwar , Ian Duncan , Jim Heather Hayes , Rob Collinge
Current Car :Gvb N16 (sponsorship depends)
Previous navigator:: Harshil Limbani;
Autocross Debut: Round 3 of the Autocross Championship Kipeto / Champagne Park
Sponsors: Intra Africa Assurance
4th overall in Tanzania \uD83C\uDDF9\uD83C\uDDFF (Guru Nanak 2020)
Runners up KCB Autocross 2WD NT Championship in 2018
5th overall Equator Rally
10th overall on his second rally in a 2WD (2018)
ABOUT MCRAE KIMATHI
Date of Birth: 4th January 1995
Commenced Racing: 2015
First Rally: Machakos Rally (retired)
2017 second auto x 4WD Turbo
2018 fourth auto x 4WD turbo
Finished the WRC candidate event
2019 5th overall Meru Rally (1st in Division 3 and 1st in Group N)